Thursday, 11 December 2014

Film Review: Suspiria (1977)

Figure 1: Movie Poster

Suspiria (1977) is a film directed by Dario Argento and is an iconic horror film. this film will stick with you forever for its impressive set and production design that makes it stand out. The story is about a young American ballet student  called Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) from New York who has arrived at a European ballet academy where she is forced to stay and live in the academy by a series of unfortunate events involving other pupils. as the film progresses the death toll raises and suspicions of witchery rise.

Figure 2: strong use-age of lighting to create atmosphere still

Theclever production design and the chilling soundtrack which was produced by an Italian band called "Goblin" creates an atmosphere throughout the film that makes a great deal of tension. Jennie Kermode says "This is horror shot with dazzling energy yet with the visual depth and acuity of a Renaissance painting. Those who doubt the artistic potential of the horror genre should be nailed down and made to watch it." (Kermode, 2008). which infers that the film uses its great lighting and set design to create stunning imagery.

Figure 3: a shot showing use of red

 "it is so incredibly stylised"(Dobbs, 2012). Dobbs  could be inferring that the entire movie has a style that builds upon the use of colour, The Building in 'figure 3.' is a good example of this, when danger is low the building is a dull burgundy colour, however when things start to get tense the vibrancy is dramatically increased and makes the scene allot more sinister.

Figure 4. Ballet students sleeping in the dance studio

Suspiria is an impressive film setting itself apart from the generic films of its genre with its over used use of the colour, Jackson Buchanan says "this unrelenting tale of the supernatural was - and likely still is - the closest a film maker has come to capturing a nightmare on film." (Buchanan, s.d.) one could say that this is as accurate description as you could get, the film feels oddly dreamlike and surreal in the way its designed and is a real test on your emotions.

Illustration List

Figure 1:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 2:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 3:[accessed 12/12/14]

Figure 4:[accessed 12/12/14]


J Kermode Eye for Film 2008:[accessed 12/12/14]

Dobbs, S.(2012)'Looking back at Dario Argento Suspiria' In Den of Geek[Online] At:[accessed 12/12/14]

Buchanan all movie:[accessed 12/12/14]

Film Review: Repulsion (1965)

Figure 1: Movie Poster

Repulsion is a chilling horror film. The story follows a young women called "Carol" (Christine Deneuve) who lives with her sister in a small apartment in London. Carol is extremely shy but she is very beautiful and attracts a lot of attention from men when the attention is very much unwanted. Her anxieties and mental stability begin to break down when her sister and her new boyfriend decide to go on a vacation and Carol is left alone.

Figure 2: Still shot showing Carol

Throughout the director has allot of close intimate shots of carol and first person views which makes you feel as though you are in the mind of Carol. the more carol looses her mind throughout the film the more cracks start to appear on the walls. one could say the most disturbing part of the film is when she has dreams of her self being raped. 
"Rather than making a mad person scary, this film terrifies by giving an audience a sense of what it's like to lose sanity" (K, Newman Empire).This infers that as the viewer you feel concerned and oddly care for carol throughout the film.

Figure3: Carol looking at a crack emerge from bellow her.

the time in which this film is set is the 60's Carol defies the sterotype of that time by having a phobia of men and thus an opposite way of living at that time. During the film there is one man only makes the fear worse for Carol.Jennie Kermode says "Her unbalanced state seems to reflect an unbalanced world whose expectations of her are themselves far from realistic" (J Kermode, Eye for film, 2010).  This evidence suggests that people do not understand her, and do not understand the reasons for her anxiety, for example it is inferred through the film that she could have been abused in the past.

Figure 4: Carol imagining male hands coming through the hallway trying to touch her
All these leering, groping males make her flesh crawl, causing her to twitch and wipe at her face and body as if to rid herself of some dread disease transmitted by men” (Viola M., 2008). Viola suggests here that Carol detests men like a disease, it is this tremendous narrative that makes the movie so unique and popular, the freakish and uneasy emotions created by the production design trully make this movie.

Illustration List

Figure 1: (Accessed on 26/11/14).

Figure 2: (Accessed on 26/11/14).

Figure 3: ttp:// (Accessed on 26/11/14).

Figure 4: (Accessed on 26/11/14).


K Newman (Empire): (Accessed on 26/11/14).

J Kermode (Eye for Film): (Accessed on 26/11/14).

Viola, Mat.(film fanatic): 

Film Review: "Nicolas Winding Refn" Only God Forgives (2013)

Figure 1: Only god forgives Movie poster  

The director "Nicolas Winding Refn" has created a strange story of a man who questions his morality and judgement and what is considered right and wrong. The films narrative is strange and unique while also graphic. there is very little dialogue and as such it makes it hard to understand the film at first, even the main character "Julian" (Ryan Gosling) hardly talks.


Figure 2: still showing heavy use of lighting

Peter Bradshaw says “I can only say that Refn's movie is entirely gripping, put together with lethal, formal brilliance, with bizarre set pieces of sentimentality and nauseous black comedy. It has its own miasma of anxiety and evil, taking place in a universe of fear, a place of deep-sea unreality in which you need to breathe through special gills – and through which the action swims at about 90% of normal speed through to its chilling conclusion. It is a kind of hallucinated tragi-exploitation shocker, an enriched uranium cake of pulp with a neon sheen.” (Bradshaw, 2013) what can be inferred from this is that the film is uses its strange and gruesome murders and horror to progress the story but never tells the viewer if there is any point to what's going on and to top the weirdness of the film there is no clear ending and to most it makes no sense.

Figure 3: "Julian" (Ryan Gosling) 

Through out the film Julian looks at his hands. Damon Wise states "the Angel is summoned from Julian’s warped subconscious as he deals with the fallout from his dysfunctional and psychopathic family. How much is real is never made clear." (D Wise, Empire, 2013). one could say that this can show how what we see in the film may not always be real, for instance we see Julian and the policeman 'Chang' we don't no if what we see is real, we are left wondering if Chang is supernatural as he pulls a katana sword out from nowhere when he kills(punishes) people for their crimes and misdoings.

Figure 4: Julien 'still' after he finds out his brother raped a 16 year old girl

Robbie Collin also agrees and states "Do I love the film? No. But I love it that Winding Refn has made it." (R Collin, The Times,2013). one could say from this that this film could have been made in such a way to make the viewer feel uneasy about what happens, and Winding has been successful in creating a film that stirs emotions using its design and story.

Illustration List

Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Figure 3:

Figure 4:


Bradshaw, P. (2013): [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

Damon Wise, Empire, 2013: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

Robbie Collin, The Times, 2013: [Accessed 10 Dec. 2014].

Film Review: "Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger" Black Narcissus (1947)

Figure 1. Film poster: "Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger" Black Narcissus (1947)

Black Narcissus is a film of amazing production design,especially for it's time, it is a movie that creates tension that builds toward horror at the end of the film. A group of nuns journeys out to a the Himalayas,to a place called the Palace of Mopu. The journey to Mopu is lead by sister Clodagh, they settle within the Palace that had a past that conflicts with the nuns way of living. the nuns try to turn it into a Christian school and a church throughout the film.And as the end of they film approaches the nuns belief's are tested to the limit.
Figure 2. Sister Clodagh Ringing the Bell
This film was made in the 40s and for the time it was made techniques instead of today's CG was used, Powell and Pressburger used matte painting very effectively to create realism for the scenes of the movie. In figure 2, you can see the nun on the platform ringing the bell, everything else is in fact a matte painting.Michael Howell said is his article "It is a beautifully designed film, exquisite in its set design, cinematography and costumes"(Howells, 2011). as can be seen in the striking still.

Black Narcissus 
Figure 3. Ruth still
Joseph Jon Lanther said in his film review  "teased and tempted Anglo nuns into a hornily unholy froth through the piercing clarity of the Himalayan elements"(Jon Lanther, 2012). he could be inferring that due to living in the conditions high up in the Himalayas, the nuns get a sense of freedom, being influenced by the natural land to question their devotion to God.this can be seen in the sexual anxiety of Sister Ruth.

Figure 5. Sister Ruth sexual anxiety 

The story starts off with cold tones of predominantly green and blue 
Adam Bagatavicius said Lurid emotions are matched on screen by aesthetic and textual excess, effectively amplifying the darkness and instability evoked by the nuns.” (Adam Bagatavicius, 2012) what can be inferred from this is the relation of colour to the nuns emotions.for instance Red appears on everything associated with sensuality and danger: namely Ruths suggestive lipstick application is tinted with a red which indicates her sensuality. in the end of the film the light becomes fiery red and orange and shows the evil behind sister Ruth's intentions.

Illustrations List

Figure 1. "Black Narcissus" (1947)[Film poster] At: on 02.12.2014)

Figure 2. Sister Clodagh Ringing the Bell (1947) From: Black Narcissus, Directed by: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. [Film still] United Kingdom: The Archers.

Figure 3. ruth stil:l (1947)(Accessed on 02.12.2014)

Figure 5. Sister Ruth sexual anxiety still (1947) From: Black Narcissus, Directed by: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. [Film still] United Kingdom: The Archers. ( Accessed on 02.12.2014)


Bagatavicius, A. (Winter, 1978-1979) Bloodcurdling Holiness in Black Narcissus.
At: (Accessed on 16/11/14)

Jon Lanther, J.(2012)'Film Review - Black Narcissus' In Slant Magazine[Online] At: on 02.12.2014)
Howells, M.(2011)'Behind the Mask: Production Design in Black Narcissus' In Guru [Online] At: on 02.12.2014)

redone orthographic

life drawing

blocked scene

matte painting

DVD cover

Final scene

building UV, Texture maps and Bump maps

building 1 uv
texture map
 bump map

 building 2 uv

texture map
 bump map

lighting tests